England trip: London, September 21-23 (part 1)

My sister-in-law Spee, my mom, and I went to London for a week in September.  (Half my suitcase was cancer accessories and medications.)  Spee had a consulting job three and a half days of the week and my mom and I explored London and hung out for the first few days.  We stayed in a nice hotel with small rooms a block from King’s Cross railroad station.  It’s a gentrifying neighborhood, around the train station, with lots of construction and pan-Euro restaurants and coffee places.


Here are some of the rose gardens in the Inner Circle in St. Regent’s Park, which also houses Regent’s College, where I had a room for the term I went to school at University College London (fall 1986).

Tuesday we went to this place:  http://www.wildlondon.org.uk/reserves/camley-street-natural-park

It used to be a coal yard for the railroad.  Converted starting in the 80s, it has paths, a bug-hunting area for kids, a pond, a lookout by the canal, and beehives. It’s behind a big wall on the street sides.  It was tucked away in an area of big buildings and even more big buildings going up all around–even right on the canal. 

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Us at the edge of the duckweed-filled Grand Union Canal.  We didn’t know it, but the nature park was just behind us.  Across the river in the picture of me is a floating temporary walkway alongside a construction site—built to replace the path along the canal during construction.

Teatime for lunch!  Ending up with a map geek-out, as don’t all meals or sit-down occasions in a foreign city?IMG_0821IMG_0818 IMG_0823

That night we went to see a play—based on the book “The Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.”  It was weird and very good.

IMG_0844 Wednesday we took the Tube to near the Millennium Bridge, on the north side of the Thames, and walked across it to the Tate Modern.  Millennium Bridge featuring me.


The Tate Modern (the big thing with the smokestack—was a power-generation station before)

At the Tate we saw the Agnes Martin exhibition at the Tate Modern.  She painted very geometric, very almost-monochromatic or duo-chromatic paintings (often actually straight graphite lines on top of paint) that are calming.  Apparently she used them to calm herself down too.  No pics because—not allowed.  I liked the small ones the best.  She painted until she died at 92.

We took the boat ferry that goes between the two Tate museums one stop beyond the other Tate to a ritzy condo/office development called St. George Wharf.  I liked the way it looked.  Oyster shells, fins, waves.  Many balconies.  Symmetrical.  That access bridge was very steep.


Next we had lunch at The Lamb, a venerable old pub of my mom’s acquaintance.  We had rhubarb apple cider and a light lunch and enjoyed (and sketched and video’d) the traditional pub setting.

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Too bad you can’t see the detail of the wood-framed glass panels above the bar to the left of the bartender’s back.  Every other one is actually a window patrons can open to order another pint if the bar is crowded.  They are fancy leaded glass with patterns.

Around the other side of the U-shaped bar is another seating area with Hogarth prints up on the wall above it.  Then in the back is the TV room (rugby on).  And all this just a few blocks from Russell Square and the British Museum.

After this we went to a very weird museum, http://www.dennissevershouse.co.uk/booking-and-visiting/silent-night/.

And even after that I went out to dinner with Spee and her cousin and family!  Whew that was a long day. I walked a total of 6 miles which was a crazy lot for me these days.

And the next morning we were off on the next part of our trip–a day in Essex!